Apologise for hijacking this post but anyone have some solid info for setting up hand and lever position ?
First, I select a bar that has a square bend. That is, the ends of the drops are almost parallel to the flats on top. Second, I set the angle to what's comfortable for me. I like the flats on top angling down about a degree, mainly to get a better angle on the drops. Third, I position the levers to my preference. This is angled very slightly upward to compensate for the angle of the bar. The levers are also straight ahead, although angling them inward a bit can help smaller hands cover the levers for shifting and braking.
I've been using old-style Shimano levers, 5600 and 7800, for about five years and I'm not complaining. It's a clear improvement over what we had in the '70s and '80s.
Bar and lever design have clearly changed the way we set up bikes. The hoods are longer so you can get more fingers around them, and the flat top of the the bar has eliminated the old "drape of the hand over the curve" position. On the other hand, I have a new position, "stretched out with the hands over the shifter pivot knobs." Also, to keep the levers at the same level, the drop from the saddle to the top of the bar has increased. I don't mind the lower hand position when I'm riding the tops.